2019 Vault Rankings
“The firm's deep bench of experience and resources”
“Flexibility in work hours and work from home”
“Commitment to diversity”
“High billable-hour requirement”
“Lower pay than many other firms”
“Laterals come in at lower levels”
For more than 75 years, Littler has been a leader in the area of labor and employment law on a national, and recently, international scale.
Bay Area Beginnings
Littler was founded in 1942 in San Francisco by two lawyers with public service backgrounds. Robert Littler had been the Pacific Coast Director of the War Labor Board, and Thomas Coakley was a deputy attorney general for the State of California.
During the 1940s, a substantial part of the firm’s practice involved war-related matters on behalf of employers before the War Labor Board and the Salary Stabilization Commission. Over the next two decades, with the growth of Northern California businesses, increasing unionization, and the passage of civil rights legislation, the firm developed a reputation for aggressive representation of management interests in a broad range of matters, from traditional labor work to the expanding field of employment law.
With a client base extending across the state of California, the firm added outposts throughout the Golden State—including Fresno, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento. In the 1980s, the firm began its move east, with the opening of an office in Baltimore. The firm now has an astounding 53 offices nationwide, with a presence in all but a handful of states. Littler also has expanded abroad. Starting with its first international office in Caracas, Venezuela in 2010, Littler now boasts 23 offices in Canada, Europe, and Latin America, where it has a presence in nearly every Central American country.
The firm’s ranks have likewise grown significantly. For its first 30 years, Littler had fewer than 10 attorneys. The firm experienced moderate growth in the 1970s, totaling 50 lawyers by the end of that decade. Since that time, the firm has taken growth to another level: it now boasts more than 1,300 attorneys.
Littler exclusively represents management, but its clients come in all sizes and industries, from Fortune 500 corporations to mid-sized companies to small, single-office businesses. Airlines, wineries, nonprofit organizations, newspapers, government agencies, healthcare entities, construction companies, and retail chains are just some of the industries that have called on the firm’s services.
Littler truly shines with its labor and employment practice and is constantly recognized for it. U.S. News–BestLawyers consistently ranks Littler’s employment, labor, and litigation practices as tier 1 and has named Littler “Law Firm of the Year” in litigation following a year of winning the same title for its labor law practice. Chambers Global similarly recognizes Littler as a Leading Firm year in and year out.
With an eye on emerging technology, Littler has also branched out from traditional legal counseling and created the Littler Learning Group to provide compliance training materials. The firm offers numerous manuals, videos, and workbooks covering a range of employment law issues, such as whistleblowers, arbitration, litigation landmines, diversity and harassment, workplace violence, and general management issues. Additionally, the firm has developed technology-driven platforms to change the delivery of legal services, including the Littler CaseSmart platform, Littler X-celerator ComplianceHR, LaborSmart, and PolicySmart. In 2015, Littler launched its Big Data Initiative, hired the firm’s first National Director of Data Analytics and garnered a number of accolades by Financial Times “North America Innovative Lawyers” report, winning the overall compliance and technology category for its joint venture ComplianceHR. The firm also earned a “Client Service Innovator of the Year” in 2016 from LegalTech News and The Recorder. In 2017, the firm was recognized alongside its client Cabela’s Inc. as a 2017 ACC Value Champion by the Association of Corporate Counsel for driving value, while controlling legal spending and producing better results through the Littler CaseSmart platform.
IN THE NEWS
Over the past year, Littler has earned several other notable awards for its advanced diversity initiatives and inclusive culture. Recently, the firm was ranked number one on the Best Law Firms for Women list by Law360 in its Glass Ceiling Report, and The American Lawyer named Littler to its Diversity Scorecard. Additionally, Littler was named a 2018 Top Ten Female Friendly Firm by Yale Law Women, certified as a "Gold Standard Firm" by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum, and ranked a top law firm by Working Mother magazine and Vault.
Additionally, Littler has expanded its innovative offerings this year which included: 1) the launch of the PAID Forward solution, which helps employers navigate a new self-reporting program from the Department of Labor, 2) the launch of the Travel Ban Navigator—in collaboration with ComplianceHR—a complimentary web-based service designed to help employers determine the status of employees who might be affected by President Trump’s revised “travel ban,” and receive practical guidance and additional resources, and 3) the rollout of Virtual Binder, a comprehensive case management system that Littler built to integrate all of the firm’s resources in a single-entry network.
Littler added CLINT, a leading labor and employment law boutique in the Netherlands, to its global platform. The CLINT team consists of eight labor and employment lawyers who counsel clients on human resources and employment law matters related to transactions, including due diligence, labor relations, negotiations, day-one readiness support, and post-merger integration. Littler has expanded into Europe in recent years, in addition to continued growth in North and South America, and is part of a strategy that includes combining with labor- and employment-focused firms in key international markets.
Littler launched the Littler Pay Equity Assessment™ tool which provides enhanced data analytics to help employers assess risk and proactively identify solutions. The offering combines Littler’s experience in employment law and compensation with proprietary technology, resulting in an analysis that assesses litigation risk and points towards solutions. It is part of Littler’s Big Data Initiative which helps clients leverage data analytics to better manage their workforces and enhance employment litigation strategies. The Littler Pay Equity Assessment measures compensation differences between demographic groups, identifies those that are statistically significant, and determines the extent to which these differences reflect legitimate business considerations.
Littler expanded into Italy with the addition of a six-lawyer team in Milan led by experienced Italian principals Carlo Majer and Edgardo Ratti. Majer and Ratti each have nearly two decades of experience practicing labor and employment law in Italy and advising global and domestic companies. With the addition of the Milan office, the firm has extended its capabilities in Europe and further solidified its reputation as an international labor and employment powerhouse.
Littler was recognized among the top 25 innovative law firms in the Financial Times North America Innovative Lawyers report for 2017. The firm moved up 10 spots from last year’s report, ranking 10th overall in 2017, and scored high marks for a number of its technology-based initiatives. Littler earned the second highest score in the Business of Law category and four initiatives were recognized, including: Littler CaseSmart®, ComplianceHR®, Littler Edge, and Virtual Binder.
333 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 433-1940
Employer Type: Private
Co-Presidents & Co-Managing Directors: Thomas J. Bender and Jeremy A. Roth
Senior Director, Attorney Recruiting & Development: Karen Herz
Total No. Attorneys 2018: 1,331
Per firm policy, Littler does not disclose salary information.
14 out of 18 (2Ls) (2017)
Global Services Center (Kansas City)
Kansas City, MO
Las Vegas, NV
Long Island, NY
Los Angeles, CA (Century City)
Los Angeles, CA (Downtown)
New Haven, CT
New York, NY
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
St. Louis, MO
Tyson’s Corner, VA
Walnut Creek, CA
+ 23 International Offices
Affirmative Action/OFCCP Compliance
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Business & Human Rights
Discrimination & Harassment
Employment Practices Audits
ERISA & Benefit Plan Litigation
Ethics, Compliance & Investigations
Food & Beverage
Global Mobility & Immigration
Hiring, Performance Management & Termination
International Employment Law
Labor Management Relations
Leaves of Absence & Disability Accommodation
Legislative & Regulatory Practice
Litigation & Trials
Policies, Procedures & Handbooks
Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Automation
Staffing, Independent Contractors & Contingent Workers
Training – Compliance, Ethics, Leadership
Unfair Competition & Trade Secrets
Wage & Hour
Whistleblowing & Retaliation
Workplace Privacy & Data Security
Workplace Safety & Health (OSHA & MSHA)